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Villains, Part 6

Description: Rodney fails at manipulation, Seth volunteers to help Rodney find the woman of his dreams
Word Count: 1,755
Warnings: Depression
Other: Canon.
Previous Parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
It's my birthday on Saturday, so have some more run-up to Sethney for your trouble!

Manipulation was easier said than done, especially trying to keep somebody feeling something you didn't even understand to begin with. Though Rodney didn't really like the idea, the best he could really guess was to kind of flirt with Seth - though that too was something he had never really understood. But he only did it a little, in subtle ways. Sleeping a little closer to Seth in bed, actually sitting right next to Seth on the sofa, generally letting there be a bit of physical contact without jumping away. Though it took some balancing - being able to feel Seth's arm muscles against Rodney's own arms made him feel weirdly uncomfortable, so he had to wear thicker sleeved tops to try and stop being distracted by it.

Seth seemed happier for the flirting too, though Rodney felt awkward for leading him on. Still, he thought it was going well. Until, in the kitchen one early afternoon:

"Rodney, don't take this wrong way, but... do you mean to be kind of flirting with me?"

Rodney had never expected Seth to come out and just say it, and he could feel the heat rising in his face and neck. "No!"

Seth's eyebrows raised in genuine surprise. "I have told you how bad you are at lying before, haven't I? You're deliberately flirting with me?"

"I'm- You're not- I'm not- Shhhhh, okay?"

Seth laughed, "But why? As much as I'd like to, I don't want to go jumping to any conclusions, though there's usually only one reason you flirt with somebody..."

Oh no. "It's not-  It's not as simple as that."

Seth sighed, "I figured it wouldn't be. Go on then, what's going on?"

"It's not- I don't- It's not like that..."

Seth rested his head on one arm, looking tired already, but not angry. "What is it like then? Do you feel like you have to appease me and play along or something?"

"No... Not exactly... Do we have to talk about this? I'll just stop and we can... go back to before."

Seth raised an eyebrow. "Rodney... Extra feelings or not, if we're even going to just be around each other for as long as we'll have to be, we need to be honest with each other."

Rodney balked at all the different thoughts that had been troubling him, and went with the easiest and least incriminating one. "Why are you even friends with me?"

Seth studied him for a moment. "Well, why are you friends with me?"

"Because..." the truth was small and depressing: "you're basically all I have, and you don't judge me."

Seth smirked wryly. "That goes both ways. Although you do kind of judge me," Rodney felt a twinge of guilt for that, "but you still stick around."

"But what about when somebody else shows up who becomes your friend and doesn't judge you? You might like them more than me."

"Goes both ways, Rodney."

Rodney snorted. "What, somebody becoming my friend and not judging me? Won't happen..."

"They have less to judge you for than me, you know."

"Yeah, but... you're likeable and handsome. I'm..."

"Absolutely gorgeous," Seth answered, getting that weirdly adoring look in his eyes as he did. "Don't argue - that's not the point right now. You're flirting with me because you're afraid you'll lose me as a friend otherwise?"

What a depressingly simple conversation. "Yes," he admitted, mumbling. "I wasn't even sure it really counted as flirting anyway."

"Rodney, I'm pretty much always going to notice what you're doing; I pay too much attention to you."

So much for that idea then. Rodney must have looked like an idiot.

Seth looked reminiscent with a small smile on his face. "You know, I always wondered how anybody ever really bought even half the lies you told; it was always so clear on your face, in your voice..."

"So you're insulting me now?"

"No, I just think maybe it makes sense. You say that I'm the only person who looks at you and thinks you're gorgeous, who is in love with you... Well those other people couldn't even see when you were plainly lying to them. Makes me all the more convinced that I'm right; they could never tell what they were looking at, even when it was obvious."

God, why did that seem romantic? Rodney groaned, "Why does the one person to ever fall in love with me have to be a man?"

"Wherefore art thou Seth and not Stephanie?" Seth laughed. "Wherefore art thou so stubbornly homophobic?"

"I'm not homophobic, I'm just-"

"Irrationally terrified at the idea of being in a relationship with a man and being around non-straight people in general?" Seth suggested.

"Look, I-" Rodney faltered on the more painful honest thought he'd been keeping, "I don't want to go forever alone and unloved, but I can't be gay, my whole life I- my family- ... I can't."

Seth gave him a sad smile. "If that's the way it is, then it is. But you won't go forever alone and unloved - for one thing, I'm not going to let you be alone, and you know I love you, but I will help you find the girl of your dreams who loves you back and treats you as well as I would. Not like Jesspret, that was terrible, I'll find someone perfect this time. Just might take me a while, I'll have very high standards on your behalf. I'll put everyone's protective older brothers to shame," he laughed.

Rodney couldn't laugh, he felt too awful to do that to Seth. "Why do you have to be such a good person when I'm so terrible?"

"Erm, Rodney, as much as I hate to forever have to put up with the permanent reminders: cough, multiple murderer, cough?"

"You're like the nicest murderer anyone ever had."

"Huh. And that is possibly one of the most genuine compliments you've ever given me."

"Stop making me feel bad."

"You make yourself feel bad. You can't help that I fell in love with you, like you can't help that your upbringing was terribly conservative and close-minded. You're doing the best you can, just don't give up on you - we can make your existence worth living again, just give it time."

"You're the best friend I ever had. Except multiply it by 10 so that it actually means something."

"And you are my favourite person. And you do have good competition for that title, because I have two perfect daughters to consider."


If you have to drag yourself out of bed to a world where you're in unrequited love with your best friend (who was busy in the shower), at least it was good to do it with a purpose, and a purpose Seth did have: to find the perfect woman for Rodney Jalowitz. Given that Seth was completely unable to leave the plot of land their villain-house was built on, that meant one port of call: "Mzyra!"

She appeared in the lounge next to him. "Hello."

"I'm on a mission to find Rodney his perfect future wife. Since I can't leave the house, gonna need your help. Also could use some help with candidates."

"Candidates," she repeated back to him, somewhat more hesitantly. "So... we're talking single women..."

"Good chemistry," he suggested.

"So single Fortune women, maybe Popularity, really."

"Sure, do you have a list?"

"... I guess so?"

Seth frowned. "You don't seem so into this. What's wrong?"

"There's not a big selection really. The vast majority of people here are in couples from when they were alive."

"But there are some?"

"You want the list of single female Fortune sims?"


"One: Liv Jalowitz."

"Ah. Two?"

"Madison Jalowitz. There is no three."

"Oh. You said Popularity sims could work?"

"There are no single female Popularity sims at present."

"Other aspirations?" he suggested hopefully.

"Knowledge sims might work, but there are no single female ones right now. We only have Romance, Pleasure and Family, and not that many of each."

"Family could work?"

"Just the one: Jasmine Ryman. You might recognise the name - you technically killed her. Even if she could ignore Rodney's past crimes her family won't, and they'll probably all be worse towards you."

Seth facepalmed. "Do any of the Romance or Pleasure women look promising?"

"Not really. If you just wanted somebody for Rodney to sleep with, sure, but the reason they're single is that they're not the settling type."

"Well, are there any more on their way that might work? Women with backgrounds more like ours?"

"Your aunt Kimmy's married, and the only other one you might see is Hideki Tang's daughter who rather takes after him looks-wise."

"No way."

"Exactly. You do not have good odds." She looked thoughtful. "Jasmine Ryman might actually be your best bet. She won't approve of Rodney's past, but they've both been victims of Simon and Hideki - and Rodney's nothing in comparison to them; they're both settling-ish types and fairly desperate... The biggest sticking point might just be... you."


Rodney finished drying his hair and went into Seth's room to find Seth sitting on his bed looking thoughtful.

"You okay? I thought you were going to investigate the woman of my dreams or whatever. Given up already?"

Seth forced a brighter look, but he was still frowning slightly. "No, we've got somebody you can try."

Rodney glanced at him. "Just the one?"

"We eliminated a lot of options."

"That was fast - how come?"

"Erm, by virtue of them being married, related to you, not the settling type and/or not existing. But the one we found is a nice Family sim. Jasmine Ryman."

"Do I recognise that name? And how come she's single?"

"Er, she was engaged to Ross Simons. Before he had her murdered. Via brain-broken me."

"The murder we got hauled up on trial for? God. I'd never even met her."

"Well, now's your chance."

Rodney frowned, "Do I necessarily want Simon Rossi's ex?"

"I hate to say it, but there's not a lot of choice. Also Simon Rossi and Hideki Tang make you look angelic by comparison, so it's probably helpful. All you have to do to be better than Rossi is not have her murdered."

"Well, I guess it's worth a go then," he shrugged as he checked his parting in the mirror, but he couldn't help but notice how unhappy Seth look when his back was turned. Unlike some people, Rodney let Seth keep his emotions and secrets to himself.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yay more Sethney! ^^

[Spoiler (click to open)]
Oh silly Rodney. :D Although, I can relate to the "how does this flirting thing work" part. Very observant of Seth to figure out why he was doing it, too.

My figurative hat goes off to Seth for his offer, being able to do it even with his own feelings being the way they are. He just wants Rodney to be happy, and that's a huge plus in his column.

Of course, I don't have a great feeling about Rodney and Jasmine. (And obviously, I don't want to have a great feeling about them, because I want Sethney. ;) ) I can imagine it could end up pretty comical, but on the other hand, I'm worried Rodney might get hurt. He doesn't need that. Also, I wouldn't want Rodney just to settle for Seth, considering Seth the only option he has, because Seth deserves better. Well, as does Rodney. (It's still a bit weird to talk about them this way, buuuut... You know. :) )

Very much looking forward to seeing where it goes from here!

Also, favorite quote: "You're like the nicest murderer anyone ever had." :D :D :D

Loved this, Jess!
Sep. 30th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
This dating plan sounds like a lovely failure waiting to happen. Also, when your standards are "the only thing you have to do to be better than Simon is not have her murdered," you're in for a hell of a mess.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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